High winds and steep terrain were no match for firefighters on Wednesday when they lassoed the 5-acre King fire within hours of its discovery.
We recognize that the fire, whose smoke could be scene from all over Carson Valley, wasn’t that big, and that the trees in that location weren’t as close together as they appear from a distance.
Recent thunderstorms may have set the fire in the first place, the rain that accompanied those storms helped raise both the relative humidity and fuel moisture, both critical factors in fire spread.
On the other hand, there was no help from above, either from nature or aircraft thanks to the high winds.
We could say that that luck was with them, but luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
Our firefighters have been working hard to prepare for a day very much like Wednesday, when a fire broke out in the big pines.
The fire was fought literally hand-to-hand by six crews armed with chainsaws and shovels.
A fire on Kingsbury is serious business, with lives and millions of dollars in property at stake. There was no direction the fire could go that wouldn’t result in tragedy. The smoke plume was pointed right at Nevada’s oldest town for a time. A shift in the winds could have taken it up to the Ridge Tahoe and Heavenly, or south to Sheridan Acres.
It has been 17 years since Autumn Hills took four homes at the base of Kingsbury Grade. With a second drought year and very dry conditions, we should be thankful for our firefighters and support them whenever and however we can.